Engineering Up-date - February 2018

Locomotive Frame Assembly

Firstly, an apoligy from me for the delay in posting this up-date. The reports are created around the schedule for our Warrior Newsletter, for this up-date I just forgot to post it on the web-site!

Work continues on the construction of The Unknown Warrior at number of locations.

Board Members inspect progress on the boiler at West Shed, Sat 27th January prior to a board meeting. Photo – Kevin West


Construction of the boiler for the Unknown Warrior continues to make good progress at Heritage Boiler Steam Services.

Work is mainly progressing on marking out the various parts ready to start drilling the many rivet and stay holes required.

The Doorplate being marked out for drilling. HBSS, West Shed, 27th January 2018. Photo – Kevin West

The Outer Firebox Wrapper showing the stay holes marked out prior to drilling. Photo – Kevin West

A small issue was discovered on some of the holes drilled in the Doorplate. The Doorplate was returned to LNWR Heritage, Crewe and was back at the West Shed within a week following correction.

The Doorplate showing the doubler plate fitted inside. Photo – Kevin West

HBSS have continued marking out the various parts ready for drilling rivet and stay holes.

Boiler Components in the workshop at HBSS. Photo – Kevin West

The Doubler Plates for fitting inside the sides of the Outer Firebox have been delivered to HBSS and work has started on marking out for drilling.

The Doubler Plates. Photo – Kevin West

This work is a major step forward towards the completion of the boiler assembly.

The casting for the Boiler Steady Bracket which fits to the base of the Doorplate on the rear of the Boiler has been cast and awaits quotation for machining.

Casting for the Boiler Steady Bracket. Photo – Kevin West

Inner Firebox at West Shed. Photo – Kevin West

Inside view of the Inner Firebox showing the stay holes in the crown. Photo – Kevin West

Locomotive Chassis

From outside appearances little work appears to be progressing on the chassis at present. In fact, the work being undertaken is final lining up of the Valve Crosshead Slides and other motion parts.

Front of the locomotive showing the Smokebox floor area. Photo – Kevin West

The Blast Pipe and Blast Pipe Cap have been delivered to Llangollen. These will be trial fitted to the chassis in the near future to check for alignment.

Following completion of the lubrication pipework under the Smokebox, the Smokebox Floor Plate work can be completed.

We are waiting for delivery of the Reverser Shafts following machining before the next round of major work starts on the chassis.

Main Reverser Shaft Bearings. Photo – Kevin West

Brake System and Lubrication System

Work continues on installing the lubrication system pipework.

Cylinder Oil Atomiser in position with evidence of lubrication pipework in the background. Photo – Kevin West

The drive gear for the mechanical lubricators has been checked and the Running Plates slotted for the Operating Arms.

At view from below the Running Board showing the Lubricator Drive Arm.  Photo – Kevin West

The machining required on the Brake Cylinder Piston has finally been undertaken and is due back at Llangollen to allow the Cylinder to be assembled and fitted to the Chassis. This will complete the mechanical assemble of the locomotive braking system.

Refurbishment of the original 9” Tender Brake Cylinder from 8F 48518 continues at Harco Engineering.

Pistons, Valves and Motion

Work is progressing on the procurement and manufacture of the remaining Inside Valve Gear parts.

The Return Cranks have been finished and await delivery to Llangollen.

Return Cranks. Photo – Robert Stephenson Engineering

RH Valve Crosshead Slide. Photo – Kevin West

Design work is progressing on the Piston Rod Glands and Covers plus Squab Boxes for lubrication of the Piston Rods. These will be based on those fitted to the Black 5’s as no drawings of the originals have been found.

Squab Box fitted to Black 5 45337. Photo – Kevin West


Manufacture of the Cab Reverser unit continues at Harco Engineering.



Drain Cock Gear, Cylinder Relief Valves & Sanding Gear

The Cylinder Relief Valves have been sent to a specialist Safety Valve company in Gloucester for testing and setting. Once set up on the test rig it has shown up a weakness in one of the castings. The Spring Cages are failing and cracking. The supplier of the castings has been contacted and we await a reply regarding replacement castings.

Cylinder Relief Valve on the test rig. Photo – Kevin West

Relief Valve Spring Cage casting showing failed casting. Photo – Kevin West

Without these parts the Valves cannot be completed and tested allowing fitting to the locomotive which has a knock on effect on delaying the installation of the rest of the Drain Cock operating gear.


We continue sourcing fittings required for the locomotive.

We are presently looking to obtain the Steam Heating Shut Off Valves that are fitted to the Buffer Beams of the Locomotive and Tender. The LMS fittings appear to be very scarce, so we will probably have to make new castings rather that obtain complete valves. The original drawings also do not appear to have survived so we are looking to borrow a valve to create new drawings. Unfortunately, even this is proving difficult as most are fitted to working locomotives!

The Steam Heat Valve fitted to Black 5 45337. Photo – Kevin West


Work has re-started on the preparation of the Tender chassis for riveting with the countersinking of numerous holes.

Future Work Planning

Areas of existing design work include, Boiler Cladding Sheets, Cab Footplate structure and Tender Tank.





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